This post is part of Just Ahead’s Grand Canyon Trip Planner—our guide to what you need to know to plan your trip to Grand Canyon National Park. Click here to see the complete series, and be sure to download our Just Ahead smartphone audio tour of Grand Canyon before you head to the park.
It’s hard to top the thrill of camping out in Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world’s most magnificent settings. When the breeze comes up, carrying the aromatic scent of piñon and cedar, and you gaze up at a stunning canopy of stars, you’ll be glad you opted for one of the park’s campgrounds, or one of the nearby camping options. Bear in mind that Grand Canyon National Park has two rims: the more developed South Rim, open year-round, and the more remote, less developed North Rim, open May 15 to October 15. Here’s where to find the best Grand Canyon camping at and near both rims.
Grand Canyon South Rim Campgrounds
If you covet being in the thick of things in Grand Canyon Village near the visitor center, lodges, and general store, opt for one of these two:
Mather Campground: Located just inside the park’s South Entrance, this 300-plus-site campground has its own stop on the park’s free shuttle bus route. Mather Campground can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet in length, but doesn’t offer hookups. Open year-round, accepts reservations up to six months in advance.
Trailer Village RV Park: Need hookups? This one’s for you. Located adjacent to Mather Campground, Trailer Village offers 84 sites with full hookups for RVs up to 50 feet long. Sites here also offer wi-fi access, and there’s a park shuttle bus stop at the front entrance. Trailer Village is open year-round. It’s the one campground inside the park that is not operated by the National Park Service, but rather by park concessioner Delaware North, which accepts advance reservations (877-404-4611; visitgrandcanyon.com/trailer-village-rv-park).
If you prefer to be a bit out of the way:
Desert View Campground: Located just inside the park’s less-trafficked East Entrance, Desert View Campground is a good choice for campers looking for peace and quiet. Campsites in this 50-site facility are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Open sites often fill up by late morning, so get there early if you hope to snag one. Also keep in mind that Desert View Campground is only open from mid-April to mid-October.
If all of the park’s campgrounds are full, don’t despair. You have a number of camping options outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, including:
Grand Canyon Camper Village: Just down the road from the park’s South Entrance in the small resort town of Tusayan, this commercial campground offers full hookups and can also accommodate tent campers. It’s open year-round and accepts reservations (928-638-2887; grandcanyoncampervillage.com).
Ten-X Campground: A quiet US Forest Service campground just two miles south of Tusayan, shaded by ponderosa pines, open early May through the end of September. No hookups or showers. Some of the 70 campsites can accommodate RVs, and 15 of the sites can be reserved ahead of time (877-444-6777; recreation.gov), with the balance available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information on South Rim camping, visit Grand Canyon National Park’s website.
Grand Canyon North Rim Campgrounds
North Rim Campground: It’s your only choice at the North Rim, but a very good one. It features shady sites and is within walking distance of Grand Canyon Lodge and the popular Bright Angel Overlook. Only open from May 15 through October 31. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance (877-444-6777; recreation.gov).
If North Rim Campground is full, you have a few alternatives:
DeMotte Campground: This US Forest Service campground is just seven miles north of the park on State Route 67 and open from mid-May through mid-October. Of the 38 total sites, half can be reserved ahead of time (877-444-6777; recreation.gov), while the balance are first-come, first-served. The campground can accommodate tents and small RVs, but does not have hookups.
Jacob Lake Campground: A more distant North Rim Option, this Forest Service facility is 45 miles north of the park. It has 51 sites, all of which are available through advance reservations (877-444-6777; recreation.gov).
Kaibab Camper Village: is a commercial campground located in Jacob Lake. Their 50 pine-shaded sites offer full and partial hook-ups, and can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. The park can also squeeze in a large number of tent campers. The campground is open mid-May to mid-October and accepts advance reservations (928-643-7804; kaibabcampervillage.com).
For more information on North Rim camping, visit Grand Canyon National Park’s website.